Sam Graham-Felsen * Random House * January 2, 2018 * 301 Pages
David Greenfield is one of two white kids at his middle school. He gets picked on, made fun of, mocked, and harassed on a regular basis. So imagine his surprise when a black classmate, Mar, sticks up for him one day while David is getting bullied. The interaction marks the beginning of a friendship between the two boys, since both are loner-type nerds who don’t quite fit in. Over the following school year, they hang out all the time and become close, but they’re forced to face some harsh realities when rivalry, love, and race impacts their friendship.
I like the premise of this book. I like it even more knowing that it’s inspired by the author’s real-life experiences. But even though I was into the characters and story—and even though I liked where the book ended up—I absolutely couldn’t stand how the main character narrated. The whole “white kid talking black” thing irritated me so much. I got used to it more as the novel progressed but it never stopped feeling forced and unnatural. I kept “noticing” the language, so it was hard to relax and get lost in the story.
Advanced Reader Copy provided through Amazon Vine.